Beneteau Swift Trawler 42 Boat Review

Issue: July/August 2005

There comes a time in every boaties life when the need for speed gives way to simpler and slower pursuits. Eventually, we all like to stop and smell the roses.

Why go speeding around flat out from Point A to Point B, burning plenty of fuel as you go, when you can achieve the same goal at a much more leisurely pace. Plus, in the case of the Beneteau Swift Trawler 42, it’s luxury all the way.

The Swift 42 has a timeless beauty that boaties seem to appreciate more the older they get. It has that gentlemen’s club feel about it, kinda warm and inviting.

Entering the open-plan saloon you find it functional and flooded with natural light. It was designed to maximise space.

The galley is to port opposite the helm bench seat. There’s a huge leather lounge to starboard that converts into an equally large double bed.

Folded, the dining table is a neat coffee table size, but once extended it can accommodate four diners comfortably.

The joinery of the cabinets is perfect and storage has been optimised in all possible areas. Beneteau also uses a simple but effective latch system for its cupboards. You poke your finger into the hole provided, which pushes a plate out of the way opening the door. It’s simple and never likely to fail.

Quality Venetian blinds are used to control the amount of light in the main saloon. When open, these blinds offer 360-degree panoramic views. When you get sick of the view, weigh anchor and change your scenery.


This style of boat has been compared to a caravan on water, albeit an extremely luxurious one. Plus, she’s a true passage maker. What was it the brochure said’ ‘An apartment with all-round 360-degree views. What more could you ask for” The Swift also boasts two comfortable and roomy double cabins with generous storage and head compartments with separate shower units. This makes for comfortable cruising for two couples. The big pilothouse saloon opens through two sliding side doors (port and starboard) onto wide, teak-laid side decks. On each side there’s a step up that gives access to the open bow area. There’s a large sun pad forward of the windscreen, but this area’s biggest plus is that it is wide and basically flat, effectively making it another place to entertain when at anchor. The split bowrail and windlass take all the hard work out of anchoring tasks, while the more than knee-high rail adds to the security of those moving forward. The Swift Trawler was designed for outdoor living. The flybridge is impressive. Its sheer size means that it can also be used for entertaining. The L-shaped lounge can accommodate six people, while the skipper gets a bucket seat and the navigator a seat that rests against the side of the barbeque. A simple manual davit quickly launches the RIB tender. Its main mast allows for the mounting of the radar and other electronic equipment well up out of the way, so it isn’t going to fry the brain of anyone on the flybridge. Now, for the piece de resistance. The aft cockpit is massive, covered by the flybridge floor and houses four huge compartments that can hold a mountain of gear. One of the lockers also holds the two gas bottles for the barbeque.

The aft cockpit also has closing side doors on each side that completely seal off the area. With the clears in place and the doors closed the aft cockpit can be used in any weather.

For a vessel of this size the engine room is enormous. There is more than enough room in there to carry out daily servicing and regular maintenance.


The 42 is powered by twin 200hp Yanmar engines that give her a top speed of 22 knots. The optional twin 370hp engines would certainly give that speed a nudge, but the team agree the style and normal tasks this vessel will be asked to perform don’t warrant the higher power. The twin 200hp diesels are economical to run and give her a range 300nm at 22 knots. Pull the hammers back to 12 knots (a comfortable off shore speed) and a trip from Sydney to the Whitsundays isn’t out of the question. Built on a semi-displacement hull, the Swift 42 combines the advantage of a conventional trawler with those of a power cruiser. The most noticeable aspect of a semi-displacement hull is the absence of the transition to plane. Bring her up to speed and she effortlessly gets up and running without any quibbles. The rudders and propellers are housed in mini tunnels, so you can run this boat up onto a beach without damaging the running gear. This tunnel system also allows the boat to turn effi ciently in little more than its own length without any tail slippage. Slow speed manoeuvrability is impressive. You’ll also find this cruiser is an extremely quiet boat. Even flat out the engine room insulation keeps noise to a muffled, low hum.


The Beneteau Swift Trawler 42 is an impressive vessel with all the luxuries of home and then some. The smaller engines make her economical to run, but she still retains a turn of speed to get you from Point A to B quickly if required. She’s a true live aboard vessel with the sea legs to make long ocean passages in complete safety and comfort. With a price tag of $742,000, fully tricked up, she also represents excellent value for money.

JW Marine

JW Marine are the importers and distributors of Beneteau Powerboats in Australia and New Zealand and are part of the largest boating network in the world operating in 49 countries and with over 120 years experience.

Beneteau is the leading yacht manufacturer in the world and has been producing vessels since 1884.

At present more than 25 new Beneteau Powerboats are available across three different model lines from flybridge cruisers, runabouts to the passage maker, the Swift Trawler 42.

At JW Marine there is always current stock available for demonstration right across the dealer network and pride ourselves on having a different approach to boating with a level of service that is unmatched in the boating industry.

Engine Room

The Swift 42 is powered by twin 200hp Yanmar engines that give her a top speed of 22 knots. The optional twin 370hp engines would certainly give that speed a nudge, but the team agree the style and normal tasks this vessel will be asked to perform don’t warrant the higher power.


With three adults onboard in calm conditions on Sydney Harbour the 42 recorded the following speed-torpm readings.

Speed to RPM: 4.3 knots @ 1000 rpm, 8.4 knots @ 2000, 12.7 knots @ 3000, 17.6 knots @ 3200.


LOA: 13.6m
BEAM: 4.17m
DRAFT: 1.05m
FUEL: 1500lt
MAX HP: Twin 370hp
PRICE: $742,000
BASE PRICE: $645,500

+ Massive fl ybridge
Aft cockpit

– Nothing to report

Story and Photos by Ian Macrae.